MESSAGE NOTES: Rescue Ship Christianity #3

#3 – EMBRACING YOUR EVANGELISTIC STYLE

I        INTRODUCTION

A)   We are focusing on RESCUE SHIP CHRISTIANITY

B)   Luke 19:9-10 (NIV) – 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

C)   Just as Jesus came to seek and save the lost… you and I are called to seek and save the lost as well

D)   We reject a CRUISE SHIP mentality and we embrace a RESCUE SHIP mentality

II      EMBRACING YOUR PRIMARY EVANGELISTIC STYLES

2 Tim 4:5 (NIV) – 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

A)   Timothy was not called as an evangelist but he was still called to do the work of one – we are all called to the work of evangelism

B)   Most of us have an awareness of the importance of reaching people for Jesus but most of us struggle to do it. One of the key reasons for this is that we don’t understand that God has wired each one of us with unique evangelism strengths and styles so we never discover how we can be effective.

C)   We all need to find our primary evangelistic languages

1)    Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) – 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

D)   We need to honour and value different evangelistic styles

1)    Phil 1:18 (NIV) – But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

E)   We want to grow in various styles of evangelism so we can reach as many people as possible

1)    1 Cor 9:19-23 (NIV) – 19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone,to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

F)    IMPORTANT: We must remember that no matter the evangelistic style, ultimately the gospel must be shared and declared

1)    Romans 1:16 (NIV) – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

G)   No matter your ‘evangelism style’ the end goal is disciples of Jesus and this involves real relationship. We are called to be family.

III    STYLE #1: CONFRONTATIONAL STYLE

Acts 2:14, 22-23, 36-38  (NIV) – 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say… 22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross… 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

A)   In this style you will engage with people and confront them with the gospel – we see this often through preaching/proclamation, street witnessing and so forth

B)   Potential Advantages: This style is powerful as it can break into people’s worlds who do not have a gospel witness, it can affirm the gospel witness that is already there from an outside voice and it has the opportunity to really make an impact. Faithfulness is ‘sowing seed’ will always lead to a harvest.

C)   Potential Disadvantages: When not led by the Holy Spirit people can feel pressured or attacked. It can lead to shallow or false conversions. Follow up can be challenging. It can lend to seeing people as a task instead of a person that God loves.

D)   Case Study: Frank Jenner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Jenner

E)   Peter, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, preached a very confrontational message. It’s interesting to note that the others did not necessarily do this but they were all part of seeing the harvest that day.

F)    The confrontational style is Biblical and we all need to be willing to yield to the Holy Spirit in this, but for most of us it will not be our primary style of evangelism.

G)   Unintentionally, we have held this up as either the only style of evangelism, or the best one, and so many of us feel we are not good at evangelism because we struggle with the confrontational style. If we would invest our energy in the styles we are stronger in, rather than constantly trying to become confrontational, we would see way more fruit – and have a lot more fun.

IV    STYLE #2: FRIENDSHIP EVANGELISM

Matthew 11:19 –  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

A)   It’s interesting that a key element of Jesus ministry was “befriending sinners”.

Luke 19:1-10 – Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

B)   Potential Advantages: We build relationship with people and as trust grows the opportunity grows to share the gospel. When the ‘harvest is ripe’ we are positioned to share. It can break down preconceptions and judgements that people have. It lends to discipleship and community because relationship is already there.

C)   Potential Disadvantages: The more familiar we become with someone the harder it can become to share the gospel. “Friendship Evangelism” sometimes simply means ‘friendship but no evangelism”

Ruth 1:16 – 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

D)   In our present day culture there are many people with walls up regarding being preached at but they are open to someone who genuinely loves them, builds real relationship and helps them see how Jesus connects to their world.

E)   Erik Fish – “I make friends around the world. I learn people’s stories and help others discover how Jesus connects with their journey” (ErikFish.com)

V     STYLE #3 – SERVICE EVANGELISM

Acts 9:36-42 – 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

A)   We see that Tabitha was ‘always doing good and helping the poor’ – she regularly served people

Romans 2:4 (NIV) – Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

B)   Kindness = Disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; having tenderness or goodness of nature;

C)   Potential Advantages: Doors are opened to share Jesus with people. Walls are broken down. People experience the love of God in a tangible way.

D)   Potential Disadvantages: We can fall into the trap of meeting people’s physical needs but not their spiritual ones.

E)   Case Study: Steve Sjogren http://davejacobs.net/interview-steve-sjogren-still-cleaning-toilets/

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